The Pacers filed tampering charges with the NBA against the Lakers and the league says a probe is underway.
A source told ESPN, the Lakers are denying the allegations, saying there is no evidence of tampering and that they expect to be cleared.
This is a pretty serious charge. Which comes with pretty serious consequences if, in fact, the Lakers did it.
If they did, it could cost them draft picks, and money. And if they were blatant enough about it, the league could prevent the Lakers from signing or trading for George.
Problem for Indiana and any other team that alleges it, and others have and will continue to do so… is that tampering is nearly impossible to prove. The only way to prove it, really, is if someone cops to doing it; and that’s obviously not going to happen. Or if someone is stupid enough to put in an email or on paper.
And safe to assume no one in the Lakers’ organization would ever be stupid enough to do that… even if they were doing something they shouldn’t be doing. And no, Magic Johnson going on Jimmy Kimmel to crack jokes about it does not constitute tampering. Maybe not one of Erv’s best ideas ever; but that’s not tampering.
Again, teams are frequently accused of it but rarely does anything ever come of it. So what are the Pacers doing? Do they really think the Lakers tampered with George? Or are they just butthurt because he didn’t want to be there long term?
And can you blame the guy for not wanting to? The Lakers aren’t the ones to take dynamite to the core of a Pacers team that went to the Eastern Conference Finals two years in a row, the Pacers did.
The Lakers didn’t fire Frank Vogel, the Pacers did.
The Lakers didn’t make Larry Bird quit after the season. The Pacers did.
So stop blaming someone else for your inability to keep your star player. Stop crying about how bad his timing was when he told you an entire year in advance what he was going to…., as opposed to, say, LeBron, who is going to string it out and drop a bomb on Cleveland just like he did the first time he left. And go ask Pat Riley how it felt when LeBron did it to him too. Again, George at least told the Pacers his plans.
Fact is, Indy; not only does this come off looking and sounding like sour grapes, it’s becoming a trend. One of your teams gets embarrassed on the big stage, so you drop a dime on the team that hammered you. The Pats bludgeon the Colts in the AFC title game. Blame it on the cheating Patriots. The Pacers crumble in the playoffs and Paul George doesn’t want to be there. Blame that on the cheating, tampering Lakers. So it’s not a one off. It’s becoming a trend. Can’t beat em, rat on em, eh Indy??
Paul George is gone. You failed to build a good enough team around him, so he told you he was going to bounce. And you traded him before it happened… He gave you 7 good years… Came all the way back from a catastrophic injury. So I’m not really sure where you’re going with this.
Maybe the league dinging the Lakers a draft pick or some dough might make you feel better… But that’s probably not going to happen. And even if it did, it wouldn’t bring George back.
So it’s not about what you think the Lakers did; it’s about what you didn’t do to keep George. The Lakers aren’t the reason he’s no longer there you are. And to suggest otherwise just comes off as sour grapes. And overall butthurtedness.